A Syrian man locked up in Sweden on terrorism charges has been acquitted and set free in an appeals procedure, even though it was proven that the 30-year-old suspect supported the jihadist terror network Islamic State and also frequently contacted members of the group by phone.

When the Malmö District Court earlier this spring set the migrant free of terrorism charges, Sweden’s security service SAPO immediately detained the man and kept him in government custody in advance of this second trial. SAPO considered the jihadist “too dangerous to reside in Sweden,” daily Aftonbladet reports. The man had been accused of committing an arson attack in last year’s autumn against a Malmö community centre visited by Shiite Muslims. Sunni radicals, such as ISIS sympathisers, consider the Shi’a to be ‘heretics’.

Soon after the suspect had entered Sweden with his wife and kids in 2015, SAPO intercepted telephone calls in which he stated to have “travelled to Europe in order to carry out Jihad” and that he is “a State’s soldier”, referring to the shrinking caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Therefore, the security service demanded his expulsion from Swedish territory.

Apparently, even though the Islamic militant himself wants to leave Sweden, the Scandinavian country is unable to deport him since in his homeland Syria he would possibly “face the death penalty or imprisonment,” one of the judges had stated according to Expressen. In response to criticism, SAPO stated that even though a suspect is released he “can still be under surveillance.”

Political concerns

The parliamentary spokesperson for the Liberals, Roger Haddad, stated in a press release that he was concerned by the acquittal and subsequent release of the radical immigrant:

“The authorities have to consider more restrictive measures: even if it is true that the person under surveillance of the Security Service is a security risk, the current system in Sweden is that, in spite of us having this information, we’re still forced to let him out on our streets, so these rules must urgently be reviewed, for example, rules that allow for longer detention periods,”